Freesia School January 2016 Newsletter Update
Building Blocks’ theme for the year 2016 as announced by James, the Founder, is dedicated to hygiene and best practices of hygiene in all BB Schools. This month in Freesia, the staff of Building Blocks underwent two important training sessions for their professional development. The main focus with the support from Enfold organization has been on empowering children and adults to recognize, resist and report sexual abuse by conducting an awareness seminar for teachers and all school admins. Mr. James conducted an interactive seminar with video demonstrations of the importance of hand washing and following the best practices of hygiene to all the staff of Building Blocks.
Attendance and Nutrition
No. of students enrolled: 104
Total number of meals served this month: 2,890
No. of school days: 19
No. of Students Enrolled (Day): 88
Average attendance: 80
Attendance in %: 91
No. of Students Enrolled (ASP): 15
Total breakfasts served: 1,523
Total lunches served: 1,367
Total number meals served since opening at Freesia: 99,597
Total ABC-BB School partnership meals since opening: 273,321
K3 learned recognizing colors from the color chart placed in the classroom. Through various activities they learned to identify colors, big versus small and learned to sort according to size through play dough activities. They also learned to count numbers from 1 to 20.
K4 learned to count numbers from 1 to100. They practiced writing numbers from 1 to 20. They learned about even and odd numbers and writing what comes before and after a given number.
K5 learned to write numbers from 1 to 100, writing number names of numbers from 1 to 20. They also were taught about the place values of numbers like ones, tens, hundreds and thousands and they continued building on addition and subtraction concept of numbers. Math Skill book was completed for sections related to the topics that were taught this month.
K3 children learned sounds for letter h and s with story, action and formation and also learned to blend words. In Jolly Phonics Phase One – Rhythm and Rhyme activities included rhyming soup, rhyming books, rhyming bingo and listen to the beat. Language enrichment happened with words like: work, play, happy, smile, sad, frown, tall and short. For writing practice children were given to trace and write the letters in “My skill book”.
K4 learned the short sound of vowels and writing letters from a to z. They also learned new tricky words like I, he, me and be and high frequency words like a, in, of, it, on and is. In Jolly Phonics Phase One, activities like I spy, Bertha the Bus, silly soup, our sound box, voice sound, metal mike were completed for learning.
K5 learned the diagraph sound for ou. They learned tricky words like – why, who, saw, only, live, have and like and high frequency words like – had, her, out, see, big, him and get. In Jolly Phonics Phase One, activities like I spy, Bertha the Bus, silly soup, our sound box, voice sound, metal mike were completed for learning.
They also learned to read simple readers like: A park and I love my pets. They also learned journal writing and wrote few sentences on “Fox”.
In workbook writing, they wrote the missing diagraphs and read the words with sounds of the diagraphs sh, ch, th, ou, qu and oi. They were also able to circle the correct diagraph by looking at the pictures.
Local Language Kannada
K4 children learned the sounds of letters ka, kha, ga, gha, nya and ja. They learned to write letters from a to ja in their class notebooks.
K5 children learned writing letters from aa to laa. Also, they were able to write the missing letters in their class notebooks as a part of their class work. This month children have progressed into writing two letter words in Kannada language.
K3 children learned about community helpers like: Waiter, Waitress and Baker. Under health and safety, children learned about dressing according to the weather
K4 children learned about Oceans. Various lifeforms that exist in Oceans and protecting Oceans were discussed with them.
K5 children learned about: Continents and Oceans. Also, concept of day and night was explained to them.
The theme of the month for character development for K3 was: cheerful and good behavior. Stories related to this were narrated by the teacher.
Theme of the month for K4 value education was: “Thank you”. Stories like: Let us thank Teacher, Let us thank friends, Let us thank sister and the story of The Lion and the Mouse were read out to them.
K5 children read the simple readers which have a story. The three books that children read were: A park, I love my pets and I like ice cream. Children also drew images of the pictures from these books in their class notes.
Children are encouraged to play in our outdoor playground. Every day, 15 minutes of physical activity is included in the schedule. This month too, children played outdoors whenever weather permitted.
Well balanced nutritious meals were prepared and served every day. Children were served with breakfast and lunch on all working days. A total of 2,890 meals were served for our children
After School Program (ASP)
With a total of 15 students of grades 1 and 2 the ASP program is going very well. This program helps the students in the evening with their homework which they bring back from their respective schools. This program is a supportive program which assists our previous graduates to keep up with their school work. This month the program ran for 17 days with a total attendance of 234 children.
There were two training sessions for the teachers and support staff this month. An organization called Enfold focusing on empowering children and adults to recognize, resist and report sexual abuse conducted an awareness seminar for teachers and for school admins.
James, the founder of Building Blocks, conducted a full day seminar on “Hand wash and best practices of Hygiene for 2016” for the entire staff of Building Blocks. This was a very informative seminar that covered many aspects of Hygiene. Here’s what was discussed in this seminar –
The day started off with James asking few questions and he was looking mainly at the support staff for answers. He asked what was the objective of Building Blocks India and all of the staff got this right – “Educating the underprivileged children”. James moved on by telling the support staff that they played a very important role for the organization – which they were hesitant to accept! The role of keeping the school clean and tidy, following best practices of hygiene, cooking food in a hygienic way are helping the children from not falling sick and reducing the mortality rate for the children under 5 years in India.
Hygiene has to be maintained by staff as well is what he emphasized. Things like washing hands with soap before cooking, after using toilets, maintaining personal hygiene – not touching their own face etc. while cooking was discussed and explained to them. Also, since we provide children meals at our schools we need to take extra caution while cooking food too. He discussed about thorough cleaning of vegetables and keeping the kitchen utensils and kitchen counters clean to safeguard children’s health. Also it was important to keep the school surroundings clean by using disinfectants, washing the toilets every 15 minutes with a disinfectant, washing children’s bibs frequently, changing hand towels at least once a day were discussed and had to be given equal importance as the education we provide in BB schools.
There is a huge risk, as the children come from slums and could contract illness in school and hence keeping the school clean will help us reduce the chances of death or acute illness contracted from school. Seven steps to hand wash has to be taken seriously and has to be followed by all the staff and students. In relation to this topic there were 3 videos shown to the staff
A village where newborn children were dying before 28 days of birth. Villagers had come to a belief that they had been cursed and hence the phenomenon was happening in all the houses. But when NGO’s and medical team started working in the village they noticed a lot of unhygienic practices followed by the mother of the new born which was leading to death of children before they reached 28 days
Another video showed about death rate of children below 5 years which again was related to the hygiene practice.
Famous celebrity talking about washing hands with soap before eating and after using toilets to prevent sickness was shown to reduce mortality rate
James, mentioned that Hygiene was the theme of the year for Building Blocks in line with the current Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s agenda to make a “Clean India”. This program at Building Blocks will make the little children a responsible citizen of India to make ones’ country clean for themselves and be proud about it! Social workers of Building Blocks in the community meeting with parents will showcase videos to the parents and also teach the parents about health and hygiene to combat diseases in their neighborhood. A pledge was signed by all 65+ staff who attended this talk and took an oath “I will wash my hands with soap and water and teach others to do the same”
Visitors and Special Celebrations
Ms. Monika Ganglani, was kind enough to sponsor lunch at all the Building Blocks Schools’ including Freesia. She came to Freesia school for this occasion. Children enjoyed a very yummy special meal served to them.
Birthdays are special for everyone. Children express great joy in celebrating their birthday with their friends! Here are a few pictures from the birthday celebrations from this month.
A special thank you to the staff that supports Freesia at our Implementation Partner – Building Blocks, and also to all Infrastructure Funding Partners, AlphaBet Club donors and volunteers, Rotary Club Amsterdam International and Wilde Ganzen